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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  440 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
Some facts about Billy Dickens:
* He once saw a biker swerve across the road in order to run over a snake.
* Later, that motorcycle somehow ended up at the bottom of a canal.
* Billy isn't the type to let things go.
Some facts about Billy's family:
* They've lived in six different Florida towns because Billy's mom always insists on getting a house near a bald eagle nest.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Rating details
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Oct 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Some of Mr. Hiaasen's stories are good and some are not. This is aimed for a younger audience. 1 of 10 stars
Billy Dickens is not your typical middle grader. Not only does he have a thing for snakes and is fascinated by them, but he also has a penchant for the underdogs in his school and the world around him. The child of two avid nature lovers, the boy has already lived in six different Florida towns, moves spurred by his mother's fondness for bald eagles. When Billy figures out where his long-gone father is, he travels to Montana to meet him. But in the beautiful state, he finds more questions than a ...more
Ms. Yingling
Sep 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Copy provided by publisher

Wonderful, totally up to this author's standards, but I gave to a student before I wrote the review and forget pertinent details!
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a lot of fun and with a good message, but felt like it lacked a lot of Hiaasen's usual humor.
Carolyn Stover
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5. Funny. Sweet. All about families. Great characters. Lots of plot twists. Hard to put down ❤
Jo Sorrell
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the story of a middle schooler navigating his way through bullies in and out of school and his dysfunctional family. Bullies are bad, but a dysfunctional family is not always the case. Maybe that word needs to be replaced in this evolving society. It is a fact for a great population of students I teach. I like the candour of life for Billy, Belinda and step sister Summer. The father aggravated me. He has his reasons, but I thought they were really excuses.

Billy’s dad left when Billy was
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well, he has done it again. Carl Hiaasen has written a book that kids will find hard to put down once they start. Billy Dickens like snakes (ewwwwweeeeeee). He is a friend to most animals and with a mother like his you can understand why. His mom is crazy about Bald Eagles. She follows them around Florida, and spends the weekends on family eagle watching outings. Everytime the eagles abandon the nest where she lives, she has to find a new nest to live near. This means Billy has spent plenty of t ...more
Beth Mendelsohn
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s
I try to read every Carl Hiaasen book that I can find, both children's and adult. A coworker who knows I'm a big fan passed this book on to me. All opinions are my own.

The main character, Billy, lives with his mother and older sister in Florida and tend to move around a lot. Mom likes to watch bald eagles in their nest and when that nest is destroyed, Mom goes looking for another, moving the family in the process. Billy doesn't know his dad who left when Billy was very young. Billy is not your t
Elena Sotelo-McCrary
I think this book is very entertaining. It's characters are perfect for all level of readers, especially ones who like to travel. So, for me it was an adventure, an animal book, an eco-friendly, multicultural. The characters were brave and had a mission, and the family units were interesting. I especially like how the author again reminded his reader to "get outside." His references to tech connection were particularly funny, but also he showed how drones could be useful, so at least he enjoyed ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Billy is known for his love of snakes, and while they are his animal of choice he feels compelled to protect all animals and also people who are being picked on. He often exacts his own form of justice on the bullies he encounters around him. It should be no surprise to him then, that his father thinks the same way. Billy doesn't really know his father. He left when Billy was four and Billy hasn't seen or heard from him since. But Billy is able to track down an address for him, and flies from Fl ...more
Lonna Pierce
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hiaasen has created another fascinating character in Billy Dickens. Snake-handler, lover of the wild outdoors, and unwitting protector of the underdog, he is not especially fond of small talk with humans. Dad left when Billy and his sister Belinda were little, and while he sends a check every month, he hasn't seen or spoken to either kid since he left. This central mystery occupies Billy's brain. Turns out Dad has a new Native American wife and daughter in Montana, and a pocketful of secrets to ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SQUIRM is another great read from Newbery Medal winning author, Carl Hiaasen.
This book is not one of his adult offerings. Subjects and characters are geared to upper elementary-aged students and above.
Carl Hiaasen’s titles have a wonderful sense of place; quirky, very detailed, likable characters; dysfunctional family (and civic) situations; ecological themes; and tongue-in-cheek comedic circumstances.
In SQUIRM, I especially liked the descriptions of Montana; the fly-fishing; river travel and t
Barb Martin
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Carl Hiaasen's juvenile books are never as whacked-out as those he writes for adults. Still, he manages to get a pro-environment and anti-development message into all of his books, as well as his love of Florida.

This time, Billy Dickens is a middle school kid who likes snakes, sticks up for downtrodden classmates and has absolutely no relationship to his long-estranged father. That all changes when he discovers his father's address and embarks on an adventure that involves bears, snakes and dro
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Billy Dickens, champion of the underdog, would rather deal with snakes than people, travels from Florida to Montana in search of his absentee father and stumbles into a mystery.
Like all of Hiaasen's books, there is an environmental theme. In this case it's more pronounced than ever with Billy's mother and her affection for eagles, and his father in the wilds of Montana. Billy himself spends most of his time outdoors, collecting snakes and punishing those who defile nature.
The character of Billy
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
SQUIRM had me hooked from the very first page. When Billy Dickens pieces together his absent father's address, he swipes his mom's credit card for a plane ticket to Montana for a surprise visit. From there, his dad's whereabouts become all the more mysterious, disappearing for days at a time. Billy is an admirable and immediately likeable character-- witty, clever, with a deep love and appreciation for animals and the outdoors. I was immersed in this fast paced, almost borderline thriller advent ...more
Joe Slavinsky
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some time ago, Hiaasen turned to writing YA novels, and it certainly doesn't diminish his writing abilities. His stories are always pro-environment, with antagonists that rank somewhere between dumb, and evil, often both. There's also humor leavened in each book. Some more than others. This book is no different, and is very enjoyable reading. If you've never read any of his work, please look him up, and treat yourself.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
My first Hiaasen, I had trouble putting this one down. The story of a boy who leaves Florida for Montana to find his estranged father and get some answers, he finds a likable stepsister and stepmother, some outstanding nature far different from that of his Florida life, and a mystery that his skills as a fearless snake-lover might help to unravel. A fabulous coming of age with a satisfying ending.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably the best of Hiaasen’s children’s books. Whereas the other books still feel like adult Hiaasen books with the protagonists switched with children, this one was more child-oriented throughout without losing Hiaasen’s signature style. No profanity, no adult situations, an audience-appropriate take on a serious subject (illegal poaching)—definitely a solid choice to recommend to upper grade schoolers and older students needing hi-lo material.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Again, and I've probably said this a hundred times, you just can't go wrong with a Hiaasen book. Even his YA series is entertaining. This one, Squirm, follows in the same suit as the rest of his tree hugging, nature loving series. Billy and his mom and sister live in FL. His father, out of the picture since Billy was very young, lives in MT. Billy takes an unexpected trip to find his father, only to run into a lot of nature problems. Fun read but very much geared to Young Adults.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
More of a 3.5, but that’s only because Scat is my fave. Squirm was good enough and kids who like Hiaasen will enjoy it. I especially like the connection with the dad and the Native American connections and I think it’s the first time Florida hasn’t been the only setting. Also the drone is kind of a character too. Another good one.
Julie Bowerman
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Billy's environmental vigilante tendencies go into high gear when he finds his father, who left the family many years prior. The book set in Florida and Montana has great characters, but it wasn't as much of a page-turner for me as some. Admittedly, after Skink No Surrender my expectations may have been overreaching.
Mary Ann
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, action, adventure, tween, ya
With an opening that is bound to hook any guy or nature loving gal, this is a hilarious, yet serious topic. If there were more people like Billy there would be far less bullying not only in our schools, but among some self-indulging adults as well. Hiaasen's YA books have yet to disappoint me. Love the connection with the environment!
Ann Pisarello
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Cute, entertaining story about Billy Dickins, a middle schooler who hears a different drum. His mom has moved him and his sister all over Florida in persuit of nesting Eagles. Now he is reconnecting with his dad, in Montana. This is a light uplifting story meant for young adults, but great for seniors too!
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very much enjoyed this YA book. Carl Hiaasen has a unique style and overall his storylines involve issues I believe in also. His families are quirky but that's part of the appeal. Kids like reading about families that aren't perfect but they still manage to cope with life.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book because of all of the adventure and suspense. I really liked Billy as a character because of his bravery. I also liked how he would stick up for people all the time. This was a really good book that I recomend to people who like action and adventure.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Billy Dickens is my new favorite young character of Hiaasen’s. Billy is brave and not afraid to serve justice on bullies old and young. If you would hurt an animal, watch out! Squirm does not disappoint!
Oct 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
I eagerly anticipated this book. I started listening and then suspected it was a "young adult" book that had not been advertised as such or I missed it. Not the humor or characters he writes about I like. I didn't get further than first chapter or two.
Carrie Shaurette
This quirky ecological adventure fits right in with all the other Hiaasen middle grade books. This time we follow a boy who loves snakes and stands up to bullies. It's a fine book that will still hook a certain kind of reader, though I liked some of the conflicts in the previous books better.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of his best

I've read all of Hiaasen's books and this is the worst one he has ever written. The plot is ridiculous an I was hoping it would get better, but it never did.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quick easy read
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Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. After graduating from the University of Florida, he joined the Miami Herald as a general assignment reporter and went on to work for the newspaper’s weekly magazine and prize-winning investigations team. As a journalist and author, Carl has spent most of his life advocating for the protection of the Florida Everglades. He and his family live in southern ...more
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